Ruthless Aggression #13: New Year’s Revolution – January 7, 2007.
The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.
Ten years ago, on January 7, 2007, the third and final New Year’s Revolution aired. It was a RAW PPV, the first of its kind since Cyber Sunday in November 2006. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.
The Revolution Continues…
Aww yiss. The poster shows Trrrrrriple H and Shawn Michaels in period garb, dressed like the Founding Fathers. They are holding a badly photoshopped DX-claration of Independence with their signatures at the bottom and DX sprayed over it in green. The tagline suggests that their feud against Vince isn’t over.
There are fucking CGI dragons at the start! And they’re breathing right into your face! WWE Raw presents New Year’s Revolution, as a real metal dragon bursts out pyro and JR reminds us that it is 2007, but has no time to introduce himself or Jerry “The King” Lawler before the Intercontinental championship begins…
But wait, a promo hits, showing Randy Orton and Edge kicking seven shades out of DX, busting them both open. Triple H welcomes Rated-RKO to “The Other Side”, which is a bunch of comics about cows.
We cut to Umaga, destroying everyone in his path, facing John Cena later for the WWE Championship.
(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Vladimir Kozlov and Eugene, Which Kozlov won. This is his second dark match in a row, one being on Armageddon 2006.)
Back in the arena, the Steel Cage has dropped and Lillian Garcia reveals the rules: the only way to win is by pinfall, submission or leaving the cage.
MNM’s music hits and out comes Johnny Nitro with Melina. The lads botch the red carpet at the start and the cameras attempt to introduce JR and Jerry, but keep knocking back to the ramp, where Nitro and Melina are walking down. Jerry mentions that Johnny Nitro’s name is up there with K-Fed. Really? He also mentions that there was a K-Fed vs. Cena match on New Year’s day, which would have been RAW Monday 1st January 2007, obviously.
Hardy’s music hits and down comes Jeff, the Intercontinental champion. What a lad. What a high, high lad. Hardy is right in the cage, jumping up to the top of the cage, sitting there and jumping down.
The match is about to begin, but we haven’t yet been introduced to our broadcast colleagues, or to the Spanish announcers. It takes place in the Kemper Memorial Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, with a total of 10,000 in attendance (the maximum attendance for the arena is actually 18,344, but that was lowered for this PPV, probably because they couldn’t sell all of the tickets) and 220,000 PPV buys at home, much less than the 294,000 from the previous year. Still, the money made from the event was more than last year with $107 million rather than the $95 million from 2006.
Steel Cage Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy (c) def Johnny Nitro via leaving a cage in 14:49.
The crowd bays for Hardy instantly and the two men circle each other. Hardy makes the crowd clap and Johnny starts taking control, working on Hardy’s lower back. Hardy fights back, stomping Nitro into one corner and Irish whipping him into the other. Hardy goes for a ten punch and reaches all ten before Nitro collapses. Hardy goes for the cover but Nitro escapes. Nitro then reverse-flapjacks Hardy. Melina screams as Hardy gives the facebuster suplex but Nitro replies with a springboard kick to the face. Lots of covers in this match, almost like they think that a steel cage match will end by either pinfall or submission.
Lovely lariat and mother men are on the ground. Hardy crawls toward the cage door but is dragged back by Nitro. Hardy goes to climb out and Nitro grabs him before dropkicking Hardy’s legs. Melina screams again, the loud bitch. Hardy is caught between the cage wall and the ring ropes and Nitro is really going to town on him. Nitro goes to escape, but Hardy catches him and the two men fall as Hardy dropkicks Nitro off. Hardy landed on his hip but reverses an Irish whip into a sprint up the cage wall. Nitro reverses this into a botched super backdrop where he lands on his feet before falling back. Looks a bit guff, being honest. Hardy flapjacks Nitro into the steel cage and tries to climb it.
Both men are on the top rope and Hardy Russian leg sweeps Nitro off. Hardy climbs onto the turnbuckle and Nitro climbs on Hardy to help himself up. From the top of the cage, Nitro sunset flips Hardy, turning it into a powerbomb where Jeff’s head bounces off the canvas. Johnny starts to climb and makes it to the top before Jeff is on his feet. Johnny’s legs get caught in the cage, sending him into a tree of woe, which legit looks like it really fucking hurts. I cringe just looking at it. Melina takes her belt off and whips at Jeff by the cage side. Nitro takes advantage and dropkicks Jeff. Both men down.
We have a wee lie down as one red hat jerk in the crowd jaws off to Melina. It’s real to him, dammit. Nitro goes for a lariat and Jeff turns it into a cross body before hitting the Swanton Bomb from the top rope. Jeff goes for the cover yet Nitro’s leg is on the rope. Didn’t think that rope-breaks counted in a cage match as it is no-DQ… but maybe that only works with the submissions? Jeff hits the back body drop and Nitro once again makes his way to the top of the cage. Nitro is on the edge and about to fall off when Hardy attempts a super Twist of Fate and botches it. Nitro does not know what to do and begins a climb to the top again. Jeff is crawling towards the door but Melina is blocking it. Nitro’s foot is on the door when Jeff kicks the door open, wishboning Nitro on the top of the door, allowing Hardy to leave and retain the championship in 14:49.
Great curtain jerker again by these two fantastic lads, despite the fuckups.
It’s rare to start a PPV with a steel cage match but I’m glad it did.
Todd Grisham is backstage and speaking to Randy Orton and Edge, the World Tag Team Champions of Rated-RKO. Todd asks them why this feud with DX is so personal. Edge tells him that DX reformed to have fun and Rated-RKO formed to take them down. Randy agrees, telling Todd that Rated-RKO are fighting for their future, which is funny because Edge doesn’t have many years left in his future as he would retire four years later in 2011 after WrestleMania XXVII.
Back in the arena, Lilian introduces a special bonus match: Tag Team Turmoil! I hate TTT. It’s a shitty Royal Rumble for tags. The winner becomes number one contenders for the tag team belts.
First out is our boys, the Highlanders!
Then, the World’s Greatest Tag Team: Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. Both have dragons on their backs, obviously loving the dragons here at New Year’s Revolution.
Tag Team Turmoil Match for the number one contender for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Cryme Tyme def Lance Cade and Trevor Murdock, The Highlanders, The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) and Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Super Crazy via elimination in 19:03.
Hoo-boy, this is going to be… a match.
Charlie Haas and Robbie start off. Charlie is thrown into the corner and both Highlanders double suplex him before having a lovely Irish whip dodge ending with a weak drop toe hold. JR takes the time to describe the difference between the Highlanders: Rory is older and bald, Robbie is younger and hairy. Shelton Benjamin jumps over Charlie’s back to land on Rory’s arse. Shelton is tagged in and delivers a knee to Rory. A lot of green glow sticks in the crowd making the DX symbol. Rory is in a chinlock but soon fights out of it. Shelton attempts a bodyslam but Rory falls on him and the two men struggle for a moment before Robbie gets the hot tag, clearing house. Robbie gives Charlie a lovely back suplex and is aout to be thrown into the right when Charlie rolls out. As Rory gets Robbie back, Shelton sneaks up, hits a lovely superplex on Robbie and gets the pin.
The Highlanders have been eliminated by The World’s Greatest Tag Team in 5:10.
A Challenger Appears: Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Super Crazy.
Hacksaw is gassed already. He delivers mental punches to Shelton and shouts his damn “Hoooooo!” every five seconds. Hacksaw gets beat on by Charlie as the crowd bay for Super Crazy. Shelton chokes Duggan with the ring ropes and eventually he fights back, hits the tepid tag and Super Crazy is in, hitting dropkicks, snapmares and a standing moonsault, which is impressive considering his size. He goes to jump top rope but Shelton knocks him out with a punch and Charlie pins him.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Super Crazy have been eliminated by The World’s Greatest Tag Team in 3:57.
A Challenger Appears: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch.
And now we see the two teams that people came to see. Cade takes over, beating on Benjamin and easily lifting up Shelton and slamming him down. Murdoch looks like a Hillbilly. Maybe that’s his gimmick. Shelton is getting beat on and Murdoch gives him the big boot over Cade’s head. Then we have a lovely rest hold. As Murdoch moves to face the hard cam. Cade gives Shelton the neckbreaker and gets only two-counts, sadly. Cade gives Murdoch a lovely Atomic-Drop-into-Leg-Drop onto Shelton Benjamin. Shelton goes for the hot tag and Haas is in, cleaning house. Murdoch hits a lovely T-Bone suplex where he doesn’t even drop. Haas goes for a submission move and Cade jumps off the top rope with an axe-handle-nothing and Murdoch pins him for the elimination.
The World’s Greatest Tag Team have been eliminated by Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch in 4:39.
A Challenger Appears: Cryme Tyme.
Yo yo yo yo! It’s Cryme Tyme! Brooklyn Brooklyn!
Shad and JTC turn up and Shad clears house before tagging in JTG, who gets thrown onto Cade. Mudoch is tagged in and JTC his knocked out of the ring. Cade calls him back in, goes for the pin, fails, and argues with the ref. Cade gives JTG another few punches and throws him against the turnbuckle. Murdoch gives JTG a bunch of chokes and another toss into the turnbuckle. Cade covers for Murdoch, who is choked by the tag ropes. Cade gives JTG a lovely punch and he goes down like a sack of spuds. Murdoch is in, taking over and punching JTG until there’s a lovely roll-up and the ref’s back is turned. Typical refs. Never watching.
Murdoch is taking over and JTG has been on the receiving end of his punishment for a while. Murdoch goes from Bret’s rope and gets countered, leading to an almost-hot tag that never comes as Cade knocks Shad off the apron. JTG escapes a double suplex and Shad is tagged in, clearing house for ten seconds before being knocked down. Shad lifts Cade up for a Samoan Drop after escaping a double team and the pain double-neckbreaker Cade for the pin in 19:03.
Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch have been eliminated by Cryme Tyme in 6:51.
Cryme Tyme are the new Number One Contenders for the Tag Team Championship!
Cryme Tyme celebrate and JR takes away from the win by saying that they had an advantage because they were the last team in the match.
On the Card will return on January 14 2017 with the second part of New Year’s Revolution 2007.